COLUMBUS — Whatever flicker of hope Columbus held to salvaging a down year with a chance to still become playoff-eligible was doused Friday night by Lakeside Lutheran running back Cade Olszewski.
Olszewski, a 6-2, 205-pound senior, rushed for five first-half touchdowns to lead the Warriors to a 59-7 Capitol North Conference rout of the Cardinals.
“Our kids played hard the whole time, but we’re just so beat up, so young and that makes all the difference in the world,” said Columbus coach Calvin Zenz, who had to turn to 12 sophomores to help fill the holes created by injuries.
And Olszewski took advantage, scoring on runs of 37 and 8 yards in the first quarter and then scoring all three of the Warriors’ second-quarter touchdowns on runs of 9, 29 and 13 yards to stake Lakeside (2-2 Capitol, 5-3 overall) to a commanding 39-0 first half lead.
Olszewski finished the first half with 192 yards rushing.
“He’s a pretty good player,” Zenz said. “But (his performance) just goes back to the youth. Sophomores aren’t as fast as the older guys. They’ll get there, but he was just a little bit quicker everywhere than we were.”
The Cardinals’ lone bright spot on this Homecoming night came in the final minute of the first half when senior Ben Waldo scored on a 9-yard scamper with 34 seconds remaining the half.
The Warriors added three more scores in the second half. The first came on a 25-yard run by Jack Monis in third quarter and the fourth quarter saw a 2-yard TD run by Carter Buchta and a 55-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Shane Schultz.
Columbus’ season will end next week when the Cardinals (1-3, 2-6) play host to Lake Mills. For Zenz, it is another opportunity for his team to gain more experience and build on some of the positives he saw Friday night.
“The guys played hard the whole game,” he said. “We know we’re building and relying on a lot of young guys.”
LAKESIDE LUTHERAN 59, COLUMBUS 7
Lakeside Lutheran 19 20 6 14 — 59
Columbus 0 7 0 0 — 7
LL — Cade Olszewski 37 run (Noah Gartner kick)
LL — Matthias Winters 4 run (kick blocked)
LL — Cade Olszewski 8 run (kick failed)
LL — Cade Olszewski 9 run (Noah Gartner kick)
LL — Cade Olszewski 29 run (kick failed)
LL — Cade Olszewski 13 run (Noah Gartner kick)
C — Ben Waldo 9 run (Andy Vujnovich kick)
LL — Jack Monis 25 run (kick failed)
LL — Carter Buchta 2 run (Noah Gartner kick)
LL — Shane Schultz 55 fumble recovery (Noah Gartner kick)
<&SPAGEm>No other information was available in time to be included in this edition of the paper</&SPAGEm>